A NEW survey shows that 80 per cent of all real estate transactions in Singapore are done through real estate agents and most of these end with customers encountering some sort of ‘bad service’.
Respondents disappointed with services of estate agents highlighted ‘bad or wrong advice’ as well as the failure to get favourable prices to be the key problems they had with the agents.
This was a part of the findings by final-year Diploma in Real Estate Business students of Ngee Ann Polytechnic in their recent research project on the public’s perception and expectations of property agents.
The survey covered 1,014 respondents from diverse age groups, professional and educational backgrounds.
Giving details, Nicholas Mak, real estate lecturer at the tertiary institution who helmed the survey, noted that eight out of every 10 property transactions in Singapore are done through an estate agent and 77 per cent of those who use estate agents encountered ‘bad service’ of some sort.
The survey also showed that 73 per cent of the respondents felt that accreditation of the profession is necessary with two-thirds of them expressing their satisfaction with the current accreditation scheme.
Mr Mak added that 97 per cent of those who indicated that accreditation is necessary for every agent also wanted some form of government intervention.
He felt that the findings are well timed with the new regulatory framework for estate agents, which the government is planning to put in place soon.
‘This survey was initiated with the objectives of finding out consumer opinion of real estate agents and improving the existing accreditation system,’ Mr Mak noted.
The lecturer noted that those disappointed with services of estate agents had highlighted ‘bad or wrong advice’ as well as the failure to obtain favourable prices to be the key problems they had with the estate agents.
‘Some of them also felt that their real estate agents neglected their opinions or suggestions,’ he added.
The survey also covered the public’s views on the following issues:
# What ought to be the minimum qualification of estate agents and if that affects their competency
# Consumers’ expectations of services from property agents
# Whether experience and qualification equally matter in the choice of an estate agent
# Suggestions for government action.
Source: Business Times, 25 Jan 2010
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